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Payment by results may undermine services for drug users, warn specialists

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d900 (Published 09 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d900
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Plans by the UK government to pilot a “payment by results” scheme to fund treatment and recovery services for illicit drug users might not deliver the benefits expected and could even undermine service provision, warns a report from an independent drug policy group.

The UK Drug Policy Commission, a group of leading specialists in drug treatment set up in 2007 to provide objective analysis of drug policy, reviewed the government’s plans to introduce payment by results to fund drug services.

The government is planning to introduce six pilot schemes using payment by results for drug recovery services in 2011. Under this system, providers of drug treatment will be paid only after they have provided the service on the basis of the results they …

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